Kathrin Longhurst was born in communist East Germany. A classically trained figurative painter, she began attending life drawing classes at the age of fourteen. When she was just fifteen, her family escaped from ‘behind the iron curtain’, relocating to Sweden. This jarring transition from a totalitarian regime to a democracy sparked Kathrin’s passion for exploring the concepts of freedom of speech and expression, concepts that continue to thread through her work today.
After traveling widely throughout Europe, Asia and America, Kathrin settled in Sydney with her Australian husband. She went on to work prolifically, showing her first solo exhibition in 2004 and becoming well known for her portraits of beautiful, scantily clad women in military attire, draped with symbols of communist propaganda. Kathrin was recently selected as a finalist in the prestigious 2018 Archibald Portrait Prizes. In 2012 she was selected as a finalist in the Sulman Prize, the Mosman Art Prize, the Portia Geach Award, the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize, the Korea Australia Arts Foundation Prize and the WA Black Swan Prize. Her work is collected widely in Australia and internationally.